Great prediction from 1974 – one day a computer with the capacity of this mainframe will fit on your desk and you won’t be tied to the office where the mainframe is located

Check out these amazingly correct predictions in 1974 from a balding, gray-haired prophet. Check out the sideburns of the reporter:


First computer I worked with in high school was about 4 feet tall, 8 feet long, and about 4 or 5 feet deep. The printer was about 5 feet tall, 5 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. 

I wrote a program to play blackjack. It remembered the score for each hand, calculated whether it should draw another card, waited for you to decide whether to draw, and tallied the win/loss for a set of hands played with a 52 card deck read from the punch card reader. Wow! Shuffle the card deck, drop the deck in the reader, restart the program, and you could play again. Quite an achievement.

I am so blessed to have a deep appreciation for the astounding power in my laptop, color laser printer, and internet connection.

A few comments from the video:

  • In 2001, a date picked by the reporter when his son would be as old as the reporter was then, we will have consoles on our desk which will have access to all the information on the big mainframes.
  • We will get bank statements and theater reservations from that desk-top thing and we will get all the other information we need to live in a complex world.
  • We will take that very small thing for granted, like they do the telephone.
  • The new computers will enrich society.
  • That mobility will allow business people to work anywhere in the world they want; they won’t be limited to the office where the computer is.

I think the computer whiz scored 100% on all his predictions in the interview. If anything, he underestimated the amount of advances by 2001. Perhaps by a couple orders of magnitude.

Hat tip: Against Crony Capitalism

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